based on Nikolai Gogol


TYuZ, Moscow
Director: Kama Ginkas

"The diary of a madman" by Kama Ginkas is about the burden of present day temptations, about the negative impact of the gap between a person's own small squalid life and the shameless world of power, money and a beautiful life, perceived by him. They are very close, they tempt and tease you day and night – but you can't get a bite of it. The roots of the madness, of course, are in the Soviet past, therefore the lines of the Soviet song known to everyone get into the text, but still "The diary of a madman" is a case from our time, otherwise Poprishchin wouldn't mention the Vice Prime Minister of the present Russian Government. The pinnacle of Kama Ginkas' idea occurs when the hero pins up above his bed the portraits of the idols driving him mad - President Medvedev, the pop diva Alla Pugacheva and the showman Maxim Galkin. Besides the hero, there also are three silent characters in the "Diary of a madman", spies and aliens - two dancers and a big guy in a ballet dancer's pack, a caretaker and a nurse from the psychiatric hospital. This rough bruiser seems to have come here from other productions of Kama Ginkas, he brings the theme of indifferent and stupid violence to the performance. However, any concept is dead, unless there is a decent performer of the main part. Kama Ginkas has such a performer. There is something biting, teasing, caustic, explosive in the playing manner of Alexei Devotchenko, and his Poprishchin turns out rather Dostoyevsky's than Gogol's character. Where there is an opportunity to show confusion and hopelessness of a weak person, unpleasant, but pitiful, this actor has no equals. It is worth going to "The Diary of a Madman" just to see Devotchenko's eyes in the scene where the orderly puts Poprishchin, deceived in his dreams, on a chain.

Roman Doljansky